Graveyard Shift

Creepy Stories & Legends About the Grand Canyon  

Christopher Shultz
289.5k views 12 items

It's considered one of the most beautiful, breathtaking places in the United States, if not the world. But while the Grand Canyon has been the go-to destination for uncountable vacationing tourists (and thus the subject of far too many boring family gathering slide show presentations), the national park has its share of dark secrets. Grand Canyon legends abound, everything from ghost stories to Bigfoot encounters, and even a murder (or several).  

Furthermore, the Hopi people have numerous Grand Canyon myths in their folklore, in particular the belief that the valleys and caves hide the entrance into the land of the dead.  

Let's take a look at some of the wildest, most interesting, and downright chilling Grand Canyon creepy stories...

There's an Interactive Map of All Grand Canyon Deaths
There's an Interactive Map of ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Creepy Stories & Legends About the Grand Canyon
Photo: Screen Capture: Arcigs/Fair Use

In total, there have been 770 deaths in the Grand Canyon that we know of, though poor record-keeping and unreported murders, suicides, or accidents probably means the number is much higher than that. Still, for those curious about the grim details of every demise, there's a map for that.

It's called Over the Edge, and you're able to click on any pinpoint on the map to read about the exact nature, as well as the date, of every Grand Canyon death on the books.

There's a Guest Suite Inside a Cave That's Reportedly Haunted
There's a Guest Suite Inside a... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Creepy Stories & Legends About the Grand Canyon
Photo:  Lauri Väin/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The Grand Canyon Cavern Suite allows visitors to stay in a luxurious hotel room 220 feet below the earth's surface. While the set-up is certainly appealing, the numerous reports of hauntings in the room are not. Guests and paranormal investigators alike have reported rocks whizzing about of their own accord, strange noises and movements near the bed's headboard, dancing shadow figures and the sounds of chanting, amongst other spooky phenomena.  

 

Emery Kolb Kept a Skeleton in His Garage
Emery Kolb Kept a Skeleton in ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Creepy Stories & Legends About the Grand Canyon
Photo: Thomas Quine/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Brothers Ellsworth and Emery Kolb opened a photography studio in the canyon's South Rim in 1903. The latter brother, Emery, made Grand Canyon his home for the rest of his life. After his death in 1976, a skeleton with a bullet hole in the skull's temple was discovered in his garage.

The Hopi Keeper of Death Resides in the Canyon
The Hopi Keeper of Death Resid... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Creepy Stories & Legends About the Grand Canyon
Photo: Jesse Walter Fewkes/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Maasaw, a Hopi god described as the keeper of death, is said to live in a particular region of the canyon. If you see strange lights coming toward you from deep in the canyon at night, or if you hear a tapping sound like rocks knocking against each other, be aware: Maasaw may be after you. Visitors reportedly experience nausea and anxiety and are more prone to accidents in this region of the canyon.